As any motorcyclist knows, the risk of an accident is ever-present. There are certain types of accidents that occur most frequently. Motorcyclists who familiarize themselves with these common causes of crashes can better prepare themselves to help avoid injury.
Ten Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents? The following is an overview:
- Vehicles making left turns in front of motorcycles. This can happen because the car either failed to see the motorcycle, or failed to judge the motorcycle’s speed accurately. These crashes typically take place at intersections. Other factors can also contribute to this type of accident, such as inattention, distraction, and blind spots. It has also been proven that some drivers looking for cars on the roadway perceive only the absence of cars, but not the presence of a motorcycle. For these reasons, this is the most common type of motorcycle accident.
- Traveling around a corner and encountering an unexpected patch of sand, gravel, leaves, or other debris. If the front tire of the motorcycle hits this patch, it may cause a crash.
- Traveling into a corner at too high a rate of speed. If the motorcyclist is driving too fast when entering a turn, it may not make it around. Instead, a crash could occur.
- Cars changing lanes into motorcycles. These accidents typically occur because the motorcycle was in the car’s blind spot at the time of the lane change.
- Cars rear-ending motorcycles. If the motorcyclist needs to stop in the road—either at a stop sign, a cross walk, an intersection, or due to another unexpected cause—the driver of the car behind the motorcycle may not see the motorcycle or may be unable to stop in time. If two cars were involved in this type of collision, the result is often property damage and mild to moderate injuries. Unfortunately, motorcyclists have little external protection from the force of the car, so this type of accident can be fatal.
- Motorcyclists traveling in groups where not all riders are aware of proper group riding etiquette and fail to travel in a staggered formation. If this occurs, and one rider stops suddenly or makes an unexpected maneuver, a collision could take place between motorcyclists.
- A motorcyclist attempts to brake too aggressively. This can cause the front brake to lock up, leading to a crash.
- A motorcycle is traveling alongside a line of parked cars and a car door swings open unexpectedly. If the driver or passenger did not look before opening the door, it can strike the motorcycle and cause an accident.
- Weather conditions that leave the road icy, wet, and slippery. This can make it more difficult for a motorcycle to operate safely and increase the odds of a crash.
- Motorcyclists driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These substances significantly impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a bike, and dramatically increase the chance of an accident.
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